China Unicom’s (CHU.NYSE, 0762.HKG) fourth quarter profits jumped 68%, beating analyst estimates, Bloomberg reported. The company, China’s second-biggest mobile operator, recorded profits of US$264 million, surpassing Bloomberg’s roundup of analysts who forecasted an average of about US$227 million. China Unicom succeeded in pulling in subscribers on low-cost smartphones, a segment of the market that is expected to see rapid growth in devices sales and mobile data users. It has also done well with tie-ups with phone markers such as Apple (AAPL.NAS). Although the company lags substantially behind China Mobile’s (CHL.NYSE, 0941.HKG) total subscribers, China Unicom has only a few million less 3G subscribers than China’s biggest operator.